Tuesday, March 6, 2018

The Wellspring of Creativity

From Brain Pickings:
“Art like prayer is a hand outstretched in the darkness, seeking for some touch of grace which will transform it into a hand that bestows gifts,” Franz Kafka told a young friend ambivalent about pursuing a creative life. This prayerful quality of art and the free-flowing generosity it presupposes can only arise from a certain self-transcendence, from a place untrammeled by ego and untrapped in a static, contracted self. “The creative self,” the poet Jane Hirshfield wrote in her beautiful case for the liminal, “[asks] the surrender of ordinary conceptions of identity and will for a broader kind of intimacy and allegiance.”

That delicate relationship between self-consciousness and creativity is what A Wrinkle in Time author Madeleine L’Engle (November 29, 1918–September 6, 2007), a woman of abiding wisdom on the creative life, contemplates in Glimpses of Grace: Daily Thoughts and Reflections (public library) — a collection of meditations drawn from L’Engle’s beloved books and personal writings, arranged like Tolstoy’s Calendar of Wisdom and Joanna Macy’s A Year with Rilke, with a short reflection allotted to each day of the year. (Read more.)

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